By Hailey Blevins
A Christmas Concert with Melissa Reaves is a unique experience for everyone involved. From wearing the costumes to creating a new performance that tops all her prior performances, Reaves continues to wow her audience year after year, with a 16 year reputation of always bringing something bigger and newer.
“It’s really incredible. All of a sudden, it’s the 17th year. It’s crazy,” said Melissa Reaves.
This year will be no different as Reaves prepares for her performance with Jeff Sipe, Masa Takahashi, and E’lon JD for her 17th annual Holiday Show this Saturday, December 8, at The Local.
“I’m so excited and so honored. I’ve been playing music with Jeff Sipe this year, and I called him to see if he’s available and into it. So Jeff Sipe will be on drums, which I’m so thrilled about. And Mafa Takahashi, my dear, long-time soulmate was also free. Then the stars continued to align when I called E’lon. He’s a phenomenal musician and funky bass player who’s just touring all over the world. So that’s the band.”
The show has changed a lot since it started 17 years ago. When it started, the venue was still Coffey’s, now The Local. Reaves’ vision for the event changed as the years went by as well.
“I wanted to do a fancy Jazz show, or something like that, and it’s definitely taken a ninety degree turn. The show just had a mind of its own, and it just kind of did that. My intentions were different. I tried to make new things that I thought were interesting or I thought were funny or I thought were a cool approach.
Now, the show is half about the great music and half about what spectacular new thing Reaves will bring to the show. Part of this is Reaves’ grand entrance, which she says will be extra grand this year, though it remains a surprise as usual.
This year, Reaves’ performance is based around spontaneity, pushing the other musicians to join her and bring another great show to Boone.
“There’s no rehearsing. They’ll get to meet each other during soundcheck. But yeah, there’s absolutely no rehearsals for it. For years past, I’ve done some rehearsals, but that’s not happening this year. There’ll be a couple of planned elements, but mostly improvisation. I think it’s a strong point of mine; it’s something i feel comfortable doing. It’s definitely the deal with Jeff Sipe. He’s the master of the art of the jam and improvisation.”
Reaves expressed her excitement for the show this Saturday, which starts at 8 p.m, “I’m just excited to hear them all play together and see where it goes. It’s gonna be great music! I’m really thrilled about that.”
Audiences at the annual Holiday Show have come to expect the unexpected from Reaves as she reaches farther every year, challenging herself to find new ways to perform by bringing in new sounds and other aspects.
Tickets for the 17th annual Holiday Show are $17 in advance, $20 at the door. You can ensure your seat by calling The Local at 828-266-2179 or visit http://mrr88888.wixsite.com/melissareavesholiday/tickets to purchase your tickets in advance.
“I definitely want you to come out. I try to outdo the show before, and I want you to see these incredible players. It’s great to have grown to be able to bring this talent in. I love everyone and am so appreciative of their support over the years. It’s so great being in a room and seeing everyone’s smiling faces and them be happy. It’s a really great payoff and that’s what it’s about. I am thrilled to be a part of that.”
Upcoming CD from Melissa Reaves
Reaves just got back the final masters of her upcoming CD, “Bitter Pear.”
“It’s ready to be put into the CD case and shrink-wrapped. I’ve been working on it for probably three years.”
Be on the lookout for the CD’s release in February 2019!